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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
4. Up till now the inner man has identified himself with his forms and with their active modifications.

These forms are the modifications mentioned in the various translations, conveying the subtle [12] truth concerning the infinite divisibility of the atom; these are the veiling sheaths and rapidly changing transformations which prevent the true nature of the soul becoming manifest. These are the externalities which hinder the light of the inner God from shining forth, and which are occultly spoken of as "casting a shadow before the face of the sun."

The inherent nature of the lives which constitute these active versatile forms has hitherto proved too strong for. the soul (the Christ within, as the Christian puts it) and the soul-powers have been prevented full expression. The instinctual powers of the "animal soul," or the capacities of the aggregate of lives which form the sheaths or bodies, imprison the real man and limit his powers. These lives are intelligent units on the involutionary arc of evolution, working towards self-expression. Their objective is, however, different from that of the Inner Man and they hinder his progress and self-realization. He becomes "enmeshed in their activities" and must free himself before he comes into his heritage of power and peace and bliss. He cannot attain "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ" (Eph., IV, 13) until there are no modifications to be felt, until the forms are transformed, their activities quieted, and their restlessness stilled.

The student is urged to bear in mind the nature of this aspect of evolution which is proceeding concurrently with his own. In his right apprehension of this problem comes realization of [13] the practical work to be done, and the embryo yogi can begin his work.

The lower forms are constantly and ceaselessly active, endlessly assuming the forms of impulsive desires or dynamic mental thought forms, and it is only as this "form-taking" is controlled and the tumult of the lower nature stilled that it becomes possible for the inner ruling entity to liberate himself from thralldom, and impose his vibration upon the lower modifications.

This is achieved through concentration - the concentrated effort of the soul to hold steadily the position of observer, or perceiver and of seer. When he can do this the lower "spectacle" of the rapidly changing forms of thought and desire fades away, and the realm of the soul, the true field of soul knowledge, can be seen and contacted.

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